Review: Cordoba C9 Parlor Classical Guitar

Cordoba C9 Parlor Classical Guitar Review

Review: Cordoba C9 Parlor Classical Guitar
Cordoba ‘Luthier Series’ Line of Guitars
Solid Canadian cedar top, solid mahogany back & sides
Indian rosewood binding / Indian rosewood bridge
7/8 body size, 50mm nut width
mother-of-pearl weave rosette
630 mm scale length
Price range from $850-$1200 USD
YouTube Video Review Here

Buy from Cordoba C9 Parlor on Amazon
Canadians go here.

Bradford’s Opinion at a Glance

  • Above average volume from what I expected
  • Better than average tone for a mid-range factory guitar. I’d be curious if the C10 Parlor with Indian Rosewood is better though.
  • Love the small body size but it is indeed small, I’m short so I like it
  • The nut/string spacing is also small (think crossover guitars) but good for me but I have small hands. As a classical guitarist I would have liked a slightly larger profile neck but then again it’s great to have the option of going this small and I didn’t play anything where it interfered or cramped me, in fact, it just made it easier. Purist classical guitarists might not dig it but I do. Main point: it’s smaller than what luthiers generally call small-scale guitars (mostly in terms of body size and neck profile).
  • If you think you need a small guitar this will really make a difference
  • You can’t compare it to luthier made guitars in the +$6000 range but for the price I’m impressed and would happily recommend it to my smaller sized students or those looking for a  smaller guitar.

Cordoba’s Promotional Blurb:

The Cordoba C9 Parlor is ideal for the player looking for the feel, comfort, and ease of playability that a smaller instrument provides, while retaining the sweet, warm tone created by all-solid wood construction. Built with a solid Canadian cedar top with solid mahogany back and sides, the C9 Parlor features a 7/8 body size, 50mm nut width, and the fan bracing pattern found on most Cordoba guitars. This bracing pattern gives the center of the soundboard more surface area to vibrate and respond to the tension of the strings. A more responsive soundboard makes the guitar louder, and provides better tone.

Like every guitar in the Luthier series, the C9 Parlor is built with Spanish heel construction, where the top of the guitar is attached to the neck, the sides are added next, and the guitar’s body is sealed by the installation of the back. This construction technique allows the entire instrument to vibrate as one unified piece.

Aesthetic touches like the mother-of-pearl weave rosette inspired by a 1920’s Domingo Esteso guitar add a touch of vintage elegance to this best-seller. Other premium features include a rosewood fingerboard, rosewood bridge, high gloss finish, and Savarez Cristal Corum strings. The C9 Parlor includes Cordoba’s lightweight polyfoam case.

*With the introduction of the C10 Parlor, Cordoba decided to rename the model previously titled “C9 Dolce” to “C9 Parlor.” We felt the word “Parlor” was a better, more universal descriptor of a small body instrument. No features of the guitar were changed aside from the name.

Specs via the Cordoba Website

  • Top Solid Canadian cedar
  • Back & Sides Solid mahogany
  • Binding/Bridge Indian rosewood binding / Indian rosewood bridge
  • Purfling/Inlay 6 ply colored wood top purfling, 3 ply maple and ebony back and side purfling
  • Rosette Pearloid and ebony “Esteso” weave
  • Finish High Gloss PU
  • Neck/Fingerboard Mahogany neck / Rosewood fingerboard / Traditional (Classical) Style Neck
  • Truss Rod Two-way adjustable, 4mm
  • Scale Length 630mm (24.8″)
  • Nut Width 50mm (1.96″)
  • String Spacing at Saddle 57mm
  • Fret Marker Inlays Pearloid at 5, 7, 9
  • Nut/Saddle Bone
  • Number of Frets 12 to body, 19 total
  • Bracing/Build Fan Bracing
  • Body Width & Length 271mm (10.6″) at upper bout / 365mm (14.4″) at lower bout
  • Overall Length 38″
  • Body Depth 92mm (3.6″) at upper bout / 94mm (3.7″) at lower bout
  • Tuning Machines Cordoba Premium Gold Tuning Machines
  • Tap Plate/Pick Guard NA
  • Case Cordoba Polyfoam Case

My Cordoba Guitar Reviews So Far:


Ask a Question or Leave a Positive Comment

  1. Had aspirations of learning did not know all the nuances of size just like the sound. Battled for a while with lesson from hard rock guitarist. Gave up. Desire flared, with internet and a C9 Parlor. Old guy, 6.2”, long crooked skinny fingers going to run at it again

  2. Just found your site. Very informative. Is there a such thing as a guitar with a full size body with the shorter scale and smaller neck profile of a parlor sized guitar? I’m 6’2 so pretty tall but very small hands for my height, unfortunately.

  3. Hi! Is there a guitar that you could recommend that has a shallower depth of body ( no thinline) but normal scale length under $1000.00. I have a long torso and short arms but huge hands, otherwise I am a nice fellow . Thanks

  4. Hi thank you for the helpful review. I understand that this is not a luthier guitar and the price is much less. I understand the tone won’t be the same. However I am mostly interested in ease of playing. You mention it has good playability due to the smaller size, however if you don’t take into account the scale length and nut width, how different really is the playability of the c9 parlour compared to a luthier guitar, such as your 632mm luthier guitar? Is there a noticeable difference in playability due to neck angle/set up/ action or other factors? Is luthier made noticeably easier to play, when size is like for like? Unfortunately I am not able to try the c9 or c10 parlor in person.

    • There are many variables involved in comparing it to a more expensive instrument. In some ways these cordobas are super easy to play especially if the setup is good and the truss rod gets adjusted. I mean, the action on my Cordoba is better than my guitar but they are very different instruments. The action is quite high on my custom guitar because I use it on stage and need to dig hard into the strings sometimes. That said, my guitar has way better projection and sustain so with less effort I get more return in sound. If I tried to keep up with my guitar on a Cordoba I’d have to play it way too hard. However, in the practice room for solo material I can just get used to the volume and projection of any instrument. Soooooo, playability can mean lots of things depending on what you are trying to do with the instrument. I didn’t find the cordoba difficult to play at all, and the small size was quite comfortable for me (I’m small though).

      • Thank you so much for your detailed and prompt reply Bradford, I really appreciate it. This information really helps when trying to imagine what instruments would be like without being able to actually try them out! I am small with small hands and only play for myself at home so it sounds like the parlor could be the way to go.

        • I really like the size of the parlor but the neck profile isn’t for everyone. It’s a bit small and different if you’ve played regular size necks for 20 years. Still good though.

  5. Hi Bradford I have arthritis in my left hand so I am thinking of buying a 7/8 size guitar I only play at home so cordoba c9 parlour seems a bit to dear for me. I was wondering if you have any views on the cordoba dulce or any other suggestions

  6. If it did tun out to be smaller, I could always replace the nut with a 43mm spaced one. I think at my current beginners level having one of the e strings slide off the neck is not a concern 😉

  7. I was concerned about the 50mm nut width. I have small hands but also rather wide fingertips so I need some spacing. But looking at the Cordoba website they show the string spacing at the nut for the C9 Parlor as 43mm, which is the same as the full size C9. Possibly an error in their specs, but maybe the string spacing difference is not a concern. Did it really feel that much different to you?

    • That is interesting. The nut widths are certainly different so the neck is smaller but, yes, they are stating that the nut string spacing is the same. That might be true, since the neck is so much smaller feeling I assumed that the spacing was different too since it felt that way. I still suspect that is spacing is different but can’t verify…

  8. Is it good for versatile playing stuffs and for recording sessions also? I stay in India where you cant get to buy Cordoba guitars at all.. recently one shop imported and the highest model available is C9.. so asking about my queries..
    thank you, love from India

  9. Thank you Bradford. Wonderful review of the C9. I was on the fence about this one but your review quite convinced me. Much appreciated. You are an amazing resource for classical guitar…

  10. I watched this before I decided between the Dolce and C5. I selected the Dolce, my first new guitar in 45 years. I still have my Yamaha G90A from high school. I’m 5’3″, and the Dolce is much more comfortable to play. It was nice to be able to have this information ahead of time so that I could discuss the differences with the luthier at the shop and make a well-informed decision. Thanks.

  11. You mention in your reviews that the parlor size is good for smaller players. But how about players who have 25 years experience with electric guitars? Would the transition be easier? If so, is there any downside? thanks

    • It might be better for their left hand but it’s more about body size vs guitar size. Keep in mind that there are reasons the regular classical guitar spacing is the way it is… Lucky these Cordobas are readily available to try out in music stores…

  12. I purchased the C10 Parlor Cedar guitar after some email exchanges with Bradford. I traded in my Cordoba C7 for the C10 Parlor. My C7 was becoming more difficult to play as I progressed to intermediate level pieces. I learned through research that the 630 mm scale and the 50 mm nut size was more appropriate for my smaller frame and hands (measures slightly less than 8″ from thumb tip to pinky when extended). The C10 Parlor Cedar has an astonishing sound quality which I thoroughly enjoy. The proper size guitar has made playing much easier and practices much more beneficial. I highly recommend the Parlor size for serious students of the classical guitar that would benefit from an appropriately sized instrument.

  13. Hi Bradford. I bought a Córdoba Iberia Dolce some time ago because I have arthritis in my fretting hand and arm and I thought the smaller scale length would help. It was obviously a lot cheaper than the C9 you reviewed, at £210 sterling (without case), but I wondered if you had any experience of it and if the C9 would be a better option for me? I’d appreciate your insight!

    • It’s a big step up in sound and quality. The all solid wood construction helps with sustain. Just keep in mind that guitars do not get drastically better with dollar value, but it does make a difference. It all depends on you as a player and what you want from an instrument. Sometimes cheap guitars sound docile and nice in small rooms but then greatly underperform on stage.

      • Many thanks. I play for my own enjoyment now – I don’t perform, so my needs are for ease of playing and relief from pain, but I also like a good, rich sound! I think I may invest in the C9!